We have seen cricketers arrive on the field in their complete gear and face their opponents bravely. We have also seen them interact with hosts on TV shows or judges in various entertainment programmes. But never have we seen them in fun conversation with a fellow cricketer. Quick Heal Bhajji Blast with CSK is all about that -- candid and fun moments that cricketers share with Harbhajan Singh, India’s former spinner.
Commonly known amongst cricket fans as Bhajji Paji, Harbhajan has a fun persona and he believes it naturally comes to the fore when he is with friends, colleagues, or even in the dressing room right before the match.
So what made him come up with a show that exclusively features cricketers? “I have been with these men on the field and in the dressing rooms; we have laughed at each other and with each other, we have pulled each other’s leg, and shared our struggle stories with each other. During all this, what has stayed with me is the emotional intimacy between us,” he says.
Bhajji says that though he thought of doing this show, there came a point when he had to drop the idea. “But again later, we made up our minds that we had to go ahead with the concept and here we are,” he says.
He points out that when cricketers attend talk shows, they are poised and graceful but with him, they are comfortable exposing their true and fun side. “Nothing is scripted. When a cricketer comes on the show, we speak like friends having a chat. People will love every bit of it as we relive memories from our careers in front of the camera,” he says, adding that the show will offer the audience an insight into the lives of the players.
When asked who was the most fun person to shoot with, he enthusiastically says, “Bravo was the best! We have seen the other cricketers many times on different talk shows but we have never seen Bravo in this way. He was a total package of fun and entertainment. No one should miss this particular episode.”
He adds that Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina were the other fun people that he truly enjoyed being with.
Harbhajan is quite an entertainer himself and when asked if not a cricketer, what would he have been, he says, “I just can’t see myself doing anything else but playing cricket.” He adds that cricket is the platform that added importance to his name. “My performance on the field and of course my fun side is what makes me the person I am,” he chuckles. “Nobody is giving me a chance to enter the entertainment field, I have no control over it,” he says jokingly.
The bowler has judged one season of Roadies, the popular reality show. Says he, “It was not a pleasant experience but not a bad one either. Shooting was not as fun as it looked on television and there were a few challenges I had to face like managing between shoots and cricket.”
With the rising issue of the Indian youth heading out of the country to pursue higher education and better job opportunities, Harbhajan, giving an example from his own life, says, “Once upon a time, even I felt like leaving the country for good, move to another country, get a job and settle down there.” However, better sense prevailed and he chose to stay in India, he says, adding that it is really sad seeing most of the young talent move out of the country. He believes that the government and society as a whole, should come together to create more jobs so that we can retain the young talent that chooses to move abroad and strengthen a foreign economy. “We do have a lot of young talent in India. All we need is to preserve and nurture it,” he says.
Talking about the Qu play channel, he says, “You have seen my teammates and former opponents only as cricketers in a formal setting. This is your chance to get an insight into what our friendship really is like. Being a part of Mumbai Indians earlier and now of Chennai Super Kings, it’s been a massive journey for me. So here are 10 episodes featuring 10 cricketers from CSK to make sure you have a good laugh as I have some fun with my teammates,” he signs off.
ST Reader Service
Quick Heal Bhajji Blast with CSK will be aired on the YouTube Qu play Channel every week